OECD Survey on the STI policy responses to Covid-19

 

Q1A. What arrangements, if any, do you have in place to ensure scientific advice informs national policy and decision making in relation to Covid-19?


Updated on Response
Australia 2020-04-02 Health policy development and decision making in Australia is governed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (https://www.health.gov.au/committees-and...), which is comprised of the Chief Health Officers of each state and territory and chaired by the Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Government Department of Health. In turn, the AHPPC is advised by its expert standing committees specialising in laboratory testing and public health, among other specialist health related subjects.

Advice from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the Australian regulator of medicines and medical devices, is provided on a regular basis to the Department of Health and Department of Industry, Science, energy and Resources.
Austria 2020-04-03 Austrian research institutions and universities, for example the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) and the Medical Universities, are regularly consulting policy makers from government institutions and the parliament. Offering their expertise to official decision makers is a part of their legal obligations.

Relevant researchers are also included in the crisis consulting boards. For example: Austrian Federal Ministry of Health “Coronavirus Taskforce”, which provides medical and scientific advice - see
https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informa...
Belgium 2020-05-13 The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union (EU) require each Member State to have a structure capable of dealing with any health crisis. To this end, Belgium has set up a strong structure with three components: a Risk Assessment Group (RAG); a Risk Management Group (RMG) and; the National Focal Point (NFP). The RAG conducts public health risk assessments based on epidemiological and scientific data and is composed of experts from the health authorities and Sciensano (a federal research institution which is the leading scientific institution in the epidemiology of infectious diseases); the RMG takes action to protect public health based on the work of the RAG. A special scientific committee was also convened to advise the authorities on the latest scientific developments, so as to assure the swift elaboration of any necessary measures.
Brazil 2020-04-03 "Rede Vírus-MCTIC - Among the initiatives the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication has carried out to support the fight against Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19), is the creation of an Experts Committee Rede Vírus-MCTIC (Virus-MCTIC Network) on Mar 11th 2020. The idea of creating this Network arose from a meeting held in early February 2020, with the aim of promoting a technical discussion of how science can help Brazil in tackling the problem of emerging viruses, especially the coronavirus. Scientists specialized in the area and representatives from the Ministry of Health participated in the debate. The Virus-MCTIC Network is already working to assist the Government in initial RD&I actions to face this pandemic, as well as in the definition of research priorities related to COVID-19.

The Network plans to use MCTIC Research Units as CERTIFIERS for local producers so that they can manufacture materials to combat COVID-19. These Research Units are spread across Brazil and can respect the distinct nature of Brazilian regions, enabling the use of local sanitizing products, such as alcohol, detergents, masks, moist towels, etc."

The Ministry of Health of Brazil is also monitoring the situation and establishing protocols and guidelines to deal with the pandemic. The Ministry of Health is in frequent contact with the World Health Organization and with local officials, politicians, medical personal and researchers in order to have the best information available to guide national policy.
Canada 2020-05-08 The Prime Minister and Cabinet are responsible for national policy-making in areas of federal jurisdiction which include public health emergencies, controlling infectious disease, regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, international travel and immigration, employment and workforce, industry, and scientific research. In response to the pandemic, a Cabinet Committee on the federal response to the coronavirus disease was struck; it is chaired by the Prime Minister.

Canada’s Chief Science Advisor (CSA) provides and coordinates expert advice to the Prime Minister and members of Cabinet, as appropriate and as requested, on key scientific issues. In the context of COVID-19, the CSA assembled a panel of experts to assist her in providing rapid access to biomedical expertise ensuring science is available to inform national policies and decisions. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/en....

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) monitors and responds to disease outbreaks. PHAC, through Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO), advises the Government of Canada and Canadians on the steps they should take to protect their health, working in close collaboration with the chief medical officers of health in the provinces and territories.

The Government Operations Centre (GOC) coordinates and gathers information across the national and sub-national levels of government to ensure a national picture. For emergencies that pose a risk to public health, PHAC activates the Health Portfolio Operations Centre (HPOC), which ensures effective planning and coordination of the Agency's response efforts, in collaboration with international, federal, provincial, and territorial partners. The HPOC employs an emergency response structure modelled after the international recommended practices of the Incident Management System (IMS) framework that contains a number of coordinating functions, including research and emerging science, testing, and medical countermeasures.

During a public health response, the federal, provincial and territorial governments work collaboratively to establish an overall agreed upon strategy, as per Canada’s Public Health Response Plan for Biological Events (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/s...). Strategies may include interventions such as: developing/modifying protocols for surveillance and laboratory testing, providing recommendations for public health measures and the use of medical countermeasures, identifying research needs and developing and implementing communication strategies that allows F/P/T governments to develop harmonized communication plans and stakeholder engagement strategies. This is facilitated through the activation of a number of governance structures, for instance:
o A Special Advisory Committee (SAC) on novel coronavirus, composed of the CPHO and the chief public health officers in the provinces and territories. The SAC has the mandate to provide advice to the F/P/T Conference of Deputy Ministers of Health (CDMH).
o A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) reviews and approves technical products prior to them going to SAC.

In addition to public health, officials in other federal government agencies have set up regular calls with their provincial-territorial counterparts to discuss science-related issues that inform policies. For instance, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the provincial government ministries responsible for science and research discuss ways to better coordinate the provincial initiatives with those being undertaken at the federal level. Food safety and security issues are also being discussed among various agencies and industry.
Chile 2020-04-22 The Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Information is articulating a series of policy actions that are detailed in this report. It is also part of the Presidential Emergency Committee, that brings together many authorities (including the Presidency, the Ministers of Health, Defense, General Government Secretariat, among others, and the Undersecretaries of Public Health and Assistance Networks, also among others).
Costa Rica 2020-05-05 The Ministry of Health, the Costa Rican Social Security Department and the National Emergency Commission are leading the country´s response to COVID-19.

The Executive Branch has enacted a National Emergency Decree No° 42227 – MP- S of March 16th 2020 to establish actions, works and services necessary to solve the emergency, safeguard the health and life of the population, preserve public order and protect the environment. The decisions are based mainly on the OMS and OPS recommendations and according to the Costa Rican capacities.

So far this has included the closing of schools and universities, shuttering of bars and sporting and entertainment events, gyms and other non- essential business where people congregate. Churches and religious services are also suspended. A ban on traffic from 10pm to 5am until further notice is also in effect and public transportation has been reduced. A ban on incoming non-Costa Rican passengers and non-essential air travel has also been placed in effect. All public institutions have been ordered to operate with no more than 20% of their workforce. All other employees must telecommute.

Also, the country has developed national guidelines for the surveillance of COVID-19. The guidelines have been elaborated by a working team made up of researchers and professionals of different institutions (Ministry of Health, Costa Rican Social Security Department, Institute for Research and Teaching in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA), Costa Rica University with the advice of the Pan-American Health Organization). The guidelines include general characteristics, operative definitions (suspicious case, probable case, confirmed case), confirmation and dismissal of cases, epidemiological surveillance procedures, and social risk communication.

Additionally, several protocols, regulations, and measures have been taken by other entities before COVID-19, strategies, guides, and recommendations.

To access specific protocols, regulations, and guides, refer to link: https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/inde...
Czech Republic 2020-05-18 The National Security Council (hereinafter referred to as „NSC“) is a standing body of the Czech Government responsible for coordinating the Czech Republic’s security issues and preparing draft measures to ensure the country’s security. The Czech Government establishes, in support of its activities and decisions, advisory and working bodies, made up of members of the governmental institutions and other experts. They may be established either as permanent or temporary bodies (https://www.vlada.cz/en/pracovni-a-porad...).

In cases of serious infectious diseases, the NSC is activated and other members in accordance with their specialized professional focus become a part of it. This is the case of the Central Epidemiological Commission (hereinafter referred to as „CEC“) for recent coronavirus SARS CoV-2 / COVID-19 crisis. The CEC is chaired by Minister of Health and is composed of 21 members (representatives of the main public stakeholders). External collaborators, experts in the field of medicine and/or scientific community, have been invited to cooperate in dealing with the current emergency too.

The Research, Development and Innovation Council (hereinafter referred to as “CRDI”) is the main advisory body to the Government of the Czech Republic in the area of RDI. The CRDI is chaired by Prime Minister and is composed of a team of experts from various fields of academia, industry and RDI policy stakeholders.

Denmark 2020-03-28 Several agencies under the Danish Ministry of Health employ health professionals and scientific personal (e.g. the medicines agency and the Statens Serum Institut (SSI)). These agencies inform the minister of health, just like they are available for other ministries and agencies. As an example, the SSI participate at every press briefing held by the Danish authorities concerning Covid-19.
Estonia 2020-03-30 On 20 March 2020 the Government Committee tasked with resolving the issues related to events caused by the spread of the COVID-19-causing coronavirus and issues of public health and the economy assembled a scientific advisory board (the Science Council) and confirmed its members. The task of the advisory board is to provide expert information to the Government Committee on the emergency situation. The work of the advisory board is organised by the Government Office and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Entrepreneurial analytics are prepared and statistical advice is shared in co-operation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Financial Affairs, Government Office, Estonian Tax Board, KredEx, Enterprise Estonia, and Statistics Estonia.
European Union 2020-06-12 We will answer this as “informing EU policy and decision-making”:
New advisory structures
 Advisory panel on COVID-19: group of epidemiologists and virologists to provide recommendations to the Commission on response measures, including policy measures for addressing and mitigating medium and long-term consequences of COVID-19, chaired by the Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and co-chaired by Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. Established on 16.03.2020 by EC Decision C(2020)1799 T
The panel will provide advice to the Commission on the following:
Formulation of response measures to be addressed to all Member States
• Identification and mitigation of significant gaps and inconsistencies in measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including in clinical management and treatment
• Prioritisation of health care, civil protection and other resources as well as support measures to be organised or coordinated at EU level
• Subsequently, recommendation of policy measures for addressing and mitigating long-term consequences of COVID-19.

 Special Advisor to President Von der Leyen: Peter Piot was appointed to advise the Commission in supporting and steering research and innovation (R&I) in the global fight against COVID-19; he will also advise the Commission on increasing European preparedness in case of future epidemics making best use of research and innovation. This will imply advice on the acceleration of the development, manufacture and deployment of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines; also member of the above mentioned advisory panel.

 COVID-19 Ad Hoc group: set up by EC together with MS in the framework of the ERAvsCorona Action Plan to strengthen the operational coordination of R&I funding against COVID-19 covering the whole pipeline (from pre-clinical research to products being available to citizens) for vaccines, treatments and testing; work is carried out in four subgroups: (1) Clinical trials, (2) Manufacturing, (3) Testing, and (4) Financing.

 Foresight: study on the scientific, technological and societal conditions for the end of the COVID 19 crisis; May-July 2020.

 JRC Coronavirus Task Force: Set up to coordinate and connect the different scientific activities and contributions of the JRC to the EC’s COVID-19 response

Already existing advisory structures
 The European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control (ECDC): providing risk assessments, guidance, and advice on public health response activities to EU Member States and the EU Commission; it is also represented in the above-mentioned advisory panel on COVID-19.
 The European Medicines Agency (EMA): providing advice to patients and healthcare professionals on the safe use of medicines during the pandemic, and providing scientific and regulatory advice to developers and companies on COVID-19.
 EC’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors: a group of highly qualified independent experts with the mandate to provide independent scientific advice and at the request of the College to inform its decision-making and thus contribute to the quality of EU legislation.
 European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE): An independent, multi-disciplinary body, which advises on all aspects of Commission policies where ethical, societal and fundamental rights issues intersect with the development of science and new technologies. The EGE agreed to cooperate with the GCSA and Prof. Piot in the provision of science advice on COVID-19 (see above).
 European Commission Expert Group “Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation” (ESIR): a group of independent experts delivering analysis, insight and recommendations for the further elaboration of policies that can enhance the contribution of R&I to the overall EU policy agenda. The ESIR group just published its first Policy Brief ‘Protect, prepare and transform Europe’ that fed into the Commission’s post-COVID-19 strategy (the recovery package).
 The whole JRC has been mobilised to provide evidence that might support the tasks of Crisis Management while to start thinking in the aftermath of the crisis, including the elaboration of models to determine which are the most effective exit scenarios and their consequences. This includes, among other input, guidelines and control materials for testing and better characterization of the pandemics; epidemiological modelling; the detailed analysis on economic impact in different sectors (agriculture, energy supply, transport, …); the analysis of social aspects along with the environmental perspective; scientific input to supporting the African response to COVID-19; and more.
 The JRC’s Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre: The Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre (DRMKC) provides a networked approach to the science-policy interface in DRM, across the Commission, EU Member States and the DRM community within and beyond the EU. In the COVID-19 context, the DRMKC serves as one important network and platform to produce, assemble, store and share external and internal scientific research in response to the pandemic. Lessons learned report on COVID-19 crisis management will be part of the second “Science for Disaster Risk Management” flagship report.

Finland 2020-05-21 On Monday 30 March, the Government decided to reorganise the management of the coronavirus crisis at the central government level. The COVID-19 Coordination Group set up in February, which initially consisted of the Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Preparedness of the ministries responsible for handling the coronavirus situation, was expanded to cover the Permanent Secretaries of all ministries. The emergency management organisation within the Prime Minister’s Office was also strengthened.

The task of the Government COVID-19 Coordination Group is to implement the decisions made by the Government to curb the coronavirus epidemic and to coordinate cooperation between the ministries. It will continue to meet at least twice a week.
https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/information...

On 8 April 2020, the Prime Minister’s Office appointed a working group tasked with preparing a plan for Finland’s way out of the COVID-19 crisis and deciding on measures to deal with its aftermath. With regard to the first task of the mandate, the preparation group will report in early May on measures to limit the economic and social damage in the immediate crisis stage and on how to move away from the measures now decided in a timely manner. With regard to the second task, the preparation group will report by 31 May on the post-crisis measures and how to prepare for their introduction in the various sectors of society.
https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/article/-/a...

The first part of the report was published in early May. Link to the report:
https://valtioneuvosto.fi/documents/1061...

On Wednesday 22 April, the Prime Minister’s Office appointed a 13-member multidisciplinary scientific panel to support the work of the group set up by Prime Minister Sanna Marin on 8 April 2020 to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The term of the scientific panel will continue until 31 May 2020.
https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/article/-/a...

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Finance have appointed a working group of four economists to prepare an expert assessment of the impact of the coronavirus crisis and of measures that can be used to limit the damage to the Finnish economy. The working group will also explore measures that could help to get Finland back on track towards sustainable growth, high employment and sustainable public finances after the crisis. Report was published 8 May.
https://tem.fi/en/article/-/asset_publis...
Link to the report (in Finnish) http://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/handl...

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment have appointed a high-profile group for strengthening wellbeing and equality in the aftermath of the coronavirus epidemic. The aim is to produce proposals on how to prevent persistent problems, social exclusion and an increase in inequality during the exit and reconstruction phase following the lifting of the restrictive measures used to tackle the coronavirus epidemic. The group will work until the end of May 2020.
https://tem.fi/en/article/-/asset_publis...

As requested by the Ministry of Education and Culture, six researchers from different fields have looked into the effects of the coronavirus epidemic on children and young people in particular. According to the researchers, society must already take into account the period following the coronavirus crisis when planning different measures. In particular, the researchers raised the issue of additional resources for education and training, support for disadvantaged children and young people, and support for the arts and culture sectors.
https://minedu.fi/artikkeli/-/asset_publ...

Additional information on Government’s corona responses:
https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/frontpage
France 2020-05-25 The Covid-19 scientific council was established on March 11, 2020 by Olivier Véran, French Minister of Solidarity and Health, "to inform public decision in the management of the health situation linked to the coronavirus". Chaired by Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, this committee has ten other experts who come from complementary disciplinary fields.
https://solidarites-sante.gouv.fr/actual...
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conseil_sc...

The Research Analysis and Expertise Committee (CARE) was installed by the President of the Republic on March 24. The mission of this committee is to advise the government on programs and doctrine relating to coronavirus treatments and tests. He will also look into backtracking practices that identify people in contact with those infected with the Covid-19 virus. This committee brings together 12 researchers and physicians, and is chaired by Francoise Barré-Sanoussi, virologist at the Pasteur / Inserm Institute, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for the discovery of the AIDS virus.
https://www.elysee.fr/emmanuel-macron/20...

Additional information:
In June 2013, under the aegis of the Alliance for Life Sciences and Health,* France launched a consortium called REACTing: REsearch and ACTion targeting emerging infectious diseases. This consortium is organized around a steering committee of 15 human and animal health specialists; it is supported by an 8-member scientific committee and methodological centers. REACTing does not target any particular disease, and can intervene in all infectious emergencies. Its field of action is wide, from basic research to the humanities and social sciences, including the environmental sciences, epidemiology and public health. The approach is transversal and multidisciplinary, because health crises are always complex phenomena in their causes as in their effects.

REACTing has multiple objectives:
• Improve the preparation of research in times of inter-crisis (peacetime): governance, preparation of research tools, identification of research priorities, search for funding, and preparation of the ethical and legal aspects essential for anticipation research projects to be built in an emergency.
• Coordinate, finance and set up research projects in times of epidemic crisis: coordination, scientific and strategic priorities, methodological assistance, information for authorities and the general public.
• Help with public decision-making and reaffirm the place of research in the response to health problems, alongside aspects of care, logistics, security and geopolitics.

See: https://aviesan.fr/aviesan/accueil/toute...
*Aviesan is composed of 9 essential academic players, founding members of Aviesan: the CEA, the CNRS, INRAE, INRIA, INSERM, the Institut Pasteur, the IRD, the conference of university presidents (CPU) and the Conference of Directors General of Regional and University Hospitals.
Germany 2020-04-06 Germany recently changed the German Infection Protection Act that is the legal basis for protective measures against health crises. According to the federalist principle, the German federal states have so far been the competent authority to implement the law. Within the division of responsibilities in Germany’s federal system, in case of a pandemic the German Federation used to have a coordinating role, promoting a unified approach to fighting the pandemic and running public information campaigns, and making recommendations to the federal states.
However, in order to effectively protect the nation against the spread of the new coronavirus, the federal government has now been given the right to intervene quickly with protective measures, and can also restrict fundamental rights, such as freedom of assembly or freedom of movement. The regulation is limited to one year and will be subject to thorough reevaluation.

Based on the German Federal Government’s pandemic preparedness plan, a crisis task force jointly led by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) gathers all ministry-specific competences for combating the national threat posed by coronavirus (COVID-19). As well as the BMI and BMG, the task force includes representatives of the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Federal Ministry of Defense, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the German Federal Ministry of Finance, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the German Federal Chancellery. The federal states are involved in the crisis task force through liaison officers or other advisers.
https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/...

The Robert Koch Institute, as the leading public health institute in Germany, is continuously monitoring the situation, evaluating all available information, estimating the risk for the population in Germany and providing politicians with recommendations on a daily basis. Information on the novel Coronavirus and hygiene for the general public is available on the website of the German Federal Centre for Health Education https://www.bzga.de/home/bzga/. Additionally, lots of authorities and health insurances have set up hotlines.
https://www.rki.de/EN/Home/homepage_node...
https://www.infektionsschutz.de/coronavi...
Greece 2020-05-07 Covid-19 relevant activities are coordinated by an inter-ministerial Committee, headed by the Vice Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management. Others participating in the Committee include representatives of the Prime Minister's Cabinet, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, the General Secretariat of Civil Protection, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Development and Investments.

As far as scientific advice is concerned, an Expert Committee has been established under the authority of the Ministry of Health, comprising immunologists, epidemiologists, experts on infectious diseases, statisticians and mathematicians.
Ireland 2020-03-30 Ireland’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Mark Ferguson, is participating in a research sub-committee of Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). There are plans to use this group as part of the assessment of the funding calls described elsewhere in this survey, so the projects funded are informed by national priorities and results will feedback into it.
Israel 2020-03-30 Specific funding calls for ideation, pilots and manufacturing have been put in place.
Italy 2020-03-29 The head of the Civil Protection Department, Angelo Borrelli, established a scientific technical committee to deal with the Covid-19 emergency (Ordinance n. 630 of February 3, 2020). The Committee is composed of:
- Coordinator of the Office for the Promotion and Integration of the National Civil Protection Department, who will act as the coordinator of the scientific technical committee;
- Secretary General of the Ministry of Health;
- Director General of Health Prevention (Ministry of Health);
- Director of the Office for the Coordination of Maritime, Air and Border Health Offices of the Ministry of Health;
- Scientific Director of the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases;
- President of the National Institute of Health;
- a member designated by the President of the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces.

The Committee advises the Head of the Civil Protection Department on the adoption of the most appropriate prevention measures necessary to deal with the spread of Covid-19 (see http://www.protezionecivile.gov.it/ammin...).

Japan 2020-03-29 In Japan, the Headquarters of the Novel Coronavirus Disease Control headed by the Prime Minister has been established to comprehensively and strongly promote government measures against COVID-19.
Under the Headquarters, the Expert Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Disease Control has been held to provide advice on measures against COVID-19 from the medical perspective.
Korea 2020-03-28 - The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) of the Republic of Korea takes int account the opinions of industry experts, academics and researchers in government policies for COVID-19.
- Korea’s disease control and prevention capabilities based on expertise are in full force. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) is led by Director Jung Eun-Kyeong, who holds a doctorate degree in preventive medicine, and more than 70 researchers work for the Korea National Institute of Health (NIH), an affiliated organization of the KCDC.
- Academic societies, including the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, Korean Society for Preventive Medicine and the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology, formed an academia-wide COVID-19 response council and published statements to convey their opinions to the government and the public. The Special Committee on Biotechnology under the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology (S&T) is also providing expert knowledge through expert meeting on COVID-19 response. An online forum was also held by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies, Korean Academy of Science and Technology and the National Research Council of Science & Technology.
Latvia 2020-03-30 The Ministry of Health has designated "primary specialists" in 18 areas who among other tasks advise the minister of health. The specialist for infectology is Dr. Uga Dumpis.
Lithuania 2020-03-30 In Lithuania, a Government Emergency Commission (headed by the Minister of Health) has been set up, which, together with the Government Office, is in direct contact with leading research centres on some operational issues on the latest scientific information related to COVID 19. One such centre - Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre (VU GMC) - has set up an analytical centre for this purpose, which collects and submits weekly scientific information to the Emergency Response Centre and the Government Office. VU GMC also mobilized diaspora researchers to search for scientific information and new methods.
Mexico 2020-03-29 Federal government is in constant communication with experts during this international health crisis. They consult directly with doctors and specialists in epidemiology to foresee the advances of the epidemic and the increase in cases across the country to reduce the spread of the disease.
Netherlands 2020-04-01 The Dutch RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) is in close contact with the government and part of the Outbreak Management Team.

The National Crisis Decision-making Manual outlines the powers, responsibilities and core tasks of the main actors within the national crisis structure. This core of this structure consists of the Interdepartmental and the Ministerial Crisis Management Committee:

The Commission, chaired by the Minister of Justice and Security or the Prime Minister, decides (by majority) on all measures and arrangements for a coherent approach in a situation where national security is at stake or in another situation that has or can have a major impact on society

Interdepartmental Crisis Management Committee (ICCb)
This High Official Level Commission (DG) is chaired by the NCTV and advises the MCCb and takes its own decisions if necessary and possible.

Flexible
Experts can attend ICCb and MCCb on invitation. Examples include experts in a specific field or representatives of other governments, government services or (vital) sectors. ICCb and MCCb are supported and advised by an Interdepartmental Coordination Consultation and a multidisciplinary staff that are deployed as needed and are flexibly arranged and composed, for example for the provision of information, image and judgment, advice on specific aspects, crisis communication or parliamentary accountability.
New Zealand 2020-03-30 The COVID response is being led by the NZ Ministry of Health and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, via an inter-agency coordination group. It is taking account of the latest scientific advice from both international and domestic sources.
Norway 2020-04-30 The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) acts as a national competence institution placed directly under the Ministry of Health and Care Services. The NIPH is responsible for knowledge production and systematic reviews and has infectious disease control among its focus areas. The NIPH has a central role in ensuring that scientific advice informs national policy and decision making in relation to Covid-19. https://www.fhi.no/en/

A growing number of studies and reports are being published on COVID-19 and the pandemic. The NIPH has launched a live map of COVID-19 evidence. The project will help decision makers and researchers navigate the research. The map provides an overview of scientific publications on COVID-19 categorized and parsed into more specific subgroups, providing quick access to specific topic-relevant publications. As a result, the map also identifies research gaps, possibly guiding further research efforts. NIPH's partner at McMaster University, Canada, is making an evidence map of trustworthy guidelines. Literature searches are conducted daily or every other day in PubMed. The searches will be supplemented with material retrieved by searches performed by organizations such as WHO, CDC, and others. https://www.fhi.no/en/qk/systematic-revi...

The Ministry of Higher Education and Research has commissioned the Research Council of Norway to suggest measures to alleviate the negative consequences for industry and society. The suggested measures are currently being reviewed.
Peru 2020-05-22 An advisory board, composed of reputed of epidemiologists, scientists and public health experts has been operating since the beginning of the crisis to inform the policies adopted by the central government. This group of experts reports to the Ministry of Health and its members regularly participate in meetings with the President and the cabinet. This technical team has provided advice in regards to diagnosis tools such as quick and molecular tests, the implementation of quarantine , social isolation schemes, curfews and restricted mobility. Since we are facing an evolving crisis, said instance is constantly analyzing the available information for relaying its technical advice to the decision makers.

On the other hand, The COVID-19 operations command has been created to ensure key actors such as the Ministry of Health, The Health Social Security, Private medical clinics, the Police and the Armed Forces follow a common strategy for the sake of tackling the crisis. This operations command is in permanent communication with the group of experts for ensuring scientific advice is translated into policy decisions on a timely basis.
Portugal 2020-06-05 There is a permanent National Health Council (Conselho Nacional de Saúde), which includes different stakeholders, with the intervention of local councils and professionals, as well as universities and polytechnics, in addition to representatives appointed by the Permanent Commission for Social Concertation (CPCS), National Ethics Council for the Life Sciences (CNECV) and of the Autonomous Regions, as a way of promoting a culture of transparency and accountability to society. It is an independent government advisory body, composed of 30 members, which will guarantee the participation of the various scientific, social, cultural and economic forces, in the search for broad consensus regarding health policy.”
More specifically a new National Public Health Council (Conselho Nacional de Saúde Publica – CNSP) has been appointed in the beginning of the year, and which has been a primary advising body to the Ministry of Health in current crisis. The CNSP includes 20 members, representing several stakeholders and experts, more directly involved in public health initiatives, in the public, private and social sectors, as well as experts from academia and research sectors.
The recent National Preparedness and Response Plan for new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a strategic tool for preparing and responding to a potential SARS CoV2 epidemic. This plan is based on the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, being the national reference document regarding planning the response to COVID-19.
https://www.sns.gov.pt/noticias/2020/03/...
Russian Federation 2020-04-01 To prevent the further spread of new coronavirus infection, a Coordination Council under the Government of the Russian Federation has been established. A series of meetings has been arranged with top-managers of leading research organisations and pharmaceutical companies aimed to speed up the development, clinical trials and start of production of COVID-19 express tests, as well as drugs for the treatment of diseases caused by the virus. Moscow and a number of major cities and regions have introduced a high alert regime.
South Africa 2020-03-29 The South African Department of Health coordinates national response to COVID-19 pandemic, which in turn engages through Cabinet’s National Command Council for decision-making and coordinating the management of interventions by various institutions and individuals.

The scientific advice to government take many forms. However, there are two most noticeable ones. Namely, it goes through formal channels such as the Health Ministerial Advisory Committee whose research subcommittee is chaired by the President of the Medical Research Council. Advice is sought and offered daily. Second, there is a COVID 19 Research and Innovation Group, which is focusing on the scaling up of testing, surveillance and clinical research.
Given that COVID-19 is not just a public health matter, it has implications on water, human settlements, economy, employment, agriculture and equality. In this regard, various Science Councils, the Academy of Science of South Africa and the National Advisory Council on Innovation and higher education institutions and individual experts continue to provide scientific advice proactively or at the behest of government.
South African society is highly engaged. In this regard, public statements and articles are being published in various media platforms (including conventional media [television, radio, print] and social networks) to inform and help to shape the current and future response to the pandemic.
Spain 2020-04-01 Since March 14th, the Alarm State Managing Board is composed namely by Health, Defense, Home Office and Transportation Ministries. The Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICIN) provides scientific and technical support to the Presidency and to the Managing Board.

Scientific advice and research and technical capabilities on COVID-19 are provided mainly by:
(i) the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), depending on the Ministry for Science and Innovation (MICIN) and attached to the Ministry of Health, responsible for funding and executing national biomedical research, and housing the National Center of Epidemiology; and
(ii) CSIC, that has also mobilized its capabilities in biological and health research, including international reference research centers such as the National Centre of Biotechnology.

The government has appointed six highly recognized clinical experts and scientist, mainly in the epidemiology field, as members of the Spanish “COVID-19 Scientific and Technical Committee”, to inform policy making and provide scientific advice to the government management board. https://www.msn.com/es-es/noticias/espan...

The Ministry of Science and Innovation has also established a set of critical infrastructures and RDI centers to continue their work on Covid-19.

Similar initiatives to provide the best available scientific knowledge are being promote by Research Performing Organizations such as CSIC establishing a specialized scientific advisory group among CSIC researchers.

Information and reports from Ministry of Science and Innovation:
http://www.ciencia.gob.es/portal/site/MI...

Cvid reports developed by the Institute of Health Carlos III:
https://www.isciii.es/QueHacemos/Servici...
Sweden 2020-03-28 The Swedish Research Council has a call for research on viruses, initiated by the latest development. More actions are planned.
Switzerland 2020-05-20 Policymaking requires a broad range of knowledge. To acquire and develop this knowledge, the federal administration carries out or commissions research activities. In view of the diversity of problems, the responsibility of research in government lies with the various specialized offices. In addition, these offices have their own specific networks and commissions to advise them.

In general, the government works closely with research. In the current crisis, the federal government wants to make even greater use of the potential of the Swiss scientific community. A scientific advisory group will answer ad hoc questions to the federal government, if necessary involving other researchers; see Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force (https://ncs-tf.ch/en/).

The Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force is:
- providing the Federal Council Coronavirus Crisis Unit KSBC, the Federal Department of Home Affairs FDHA (Federal Office of Public Health FOPH) and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER (State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI) with its scientific knowledge to assist the political authorities decision–makers in reaching decisions;
- acting as an advisory body to the cantonal authorities on scientific matters;
- identifying fields and opportunities for research where the Swiss scientific community can make an important contribution to understanding and combating COVID-19;
- identifying opportunities for innovation where Swiss scientific know-how can contribute to COVID-19 related products or services.

Ten expert groups (as of Mai 11th 2020) are focusing on the most urgent and time critical issues. Further expert groups may be set up according to emerging needs and in close cooperation and consultation with the commissioning bodies (Mandate, Topics & Expert groups, Policy Briefs, Situation report etc. see https://ncs-tf.ch/en/).

On March 20th 2020, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences issued medical-ethical guidelines for triage in intensive care units. They apply when an emergency occurs with a large number of seriously ill patients and rationing decisions will be necessary (https://www.samw.ch/en/Ethics/Topics-A-t...). News (interim report on patient triage, guidelines, recommendations etc. see https://www.samw.ch/en/News/News.html).


Thailand 2020-03-31 In Thailand, the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is established by the Royal Thai Government on 12 March 2020, chaired by the Prime Minister, to manage COVID-19 situation of the country in cooperation with all government agencies. To support research and academic data to this center, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) designates the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) as the Research and Knowledge Emergency Operation Center (RKEOC). RKEOC coordinate with various agencies in all sectors, especially Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health in a wide range of topics. In this way research and academic data are collected, scrutinized, analyzed and synthesized before informing the national level in view of making decisions involving COVID-19.
Turkey 2020-04-10 The Coronavirus Science Board, a Health Ministry taskforce dedicated to fight against the outbreak, was established immediately after the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Turkey. The board is comprised of medical experts mainly focusing on infectious diseases and public health. The Board regularly holds meetings headed by the Minister of Health and gives government scientific advice on measures to tackle the outbreak. The Board created a 'Pandemic Action Plan', which is a document that is updated regularly in line with the recommendations of the scientific board. The Action Plan includes all necessary measures to tackle with the pandemic while mainly focusing on healthcare issues. Plans for healthcare facilities that would serve as quarantine centres, guidelines for relevant operational and organizational plans to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 infection and plans for the stocks of required serums and antiviral drugs are examples to the content of this Action Plan.

Turkey has also formed a second science board to tackle the social impacts of the measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus. This new board announced recently and it will include experts in the field of psychology, sociology and statistics. The new board will work on future aspects of the process and will ease the life for society and individuals by making suggestions on social life.
United Kingdom 2020-03-31 UK Government decisions both nationally and in the devolved administrations are guided by advice from the Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and from the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, and from other experts.

The UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) provides scientific and technical advice to support senior government decision makers during emergencies. SAGE is chaired by the government Chief Scientific Advisor and co-chaired by the government Chief Medical Officer during health-related emergencies (https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/sci...). SAGE is responsible for ensuring that coordinated scientific advice is provided to Ministers in the Government emergency committee (COBR).

SAGE advice is fed into COBR through the Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, alongside advice on the social, economic, operational and policy considerations. The Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Medical Officer attend COBR as required. SAGE relies on external science advice and on advice from expert groups. During COVID-19 this includes the: New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG); Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) (Department for Health and Social Care); Independent Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B).

Additional useful links:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coron...
https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/sci...